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Kate Wears DVF's Zarita for Third Time at Orangery Anna Freud Gala

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Kate attended the Anna Freud Centre's gala dinner this evening at the Orangery at Kensington Palace. I was hoping she would wear something new, but there was really only one option in my mind if she was going to recycle and ta-da, she wore it. Ladies and gentlemen, the DVF Zarita got a three-peat tonight. 



I exaggerate by saying it was the only choice, because Kate could have worn her ink-blue Jenny Packham, but I think that dress has had its time in the sun. It is hard to imagine a more triumphant wear than the glamorous December night on the steps of the Met in New York. Best to go out on a high-note--that's my philosophy. A reporter the other day asked me about Kate's most iconic ensembles, and this should have been one of my responses. 


The Zarita debuted just before Kate's trip to New York and its first wear challenged the Jenny P in glamor and wow-factor. Kate wore this lace dress to the Royal Variety Performance in 2014, and styled it with a sophisticated up-do, jaw-dropping earrings from Kiki McDonough, and her special pregnancy glow. The young couple were standing in for the Queen, which was a real honor and a symbol they were shifting gears toward more active senior status. 


She wore it again shortly afterward to a private wedding near her old apartment in Chelsea.


The Zarita was the perfect choice for tonight, because the elegant gown has plenty of stretch. Kate was pregnant with Charlotte when she wore it to the Royal Variety and she was showing even more  tonight, but the dress accommodated her figure flawlessly. 


Kate's hair was perfectly coiffed and she was wearing darker lipstick than usual, which added the perfect polish to her ensemble. 


The Duchess carried her black Prada clutch, and wore her Diamond Frame earrings on loan from the Queen. Perhaps of greatest interest to fashionistas, she debuted a new bracelet from the Queen's jewel vault.  The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor has a jewelry blog on which she covers all the bling of our favorite royal ladies, and she reports that this is Her Majesty's Diamond Quatrefoil Bracelet, which has almost never been seen! She describes it thus:
The wide diamond bracelet features multiple diamond quatrefoil motifs, the four-lobed design popular in architecture, art, heraldry, and elsewhere. Each quatrefoil outline is filled with five individual diamonds.
I don't want to ruffle any feathers by saying this, but I almost always wonder if KP deliberately shares the worst angles and the most unhelpful social media posts. This clip is super short and with her back to the camera, Kate is barely identifiable. Any millennial worth his or her salt knows to delete this and get a better angle. You think I am joking, but I am not. I genuinely wonder (more often than you'd think) if the Palace has some plot to produce sub-par social media. 



Anyway, the royal reporters showed up for duty and Victoria Murphy shared this video. It's dark, too, but it is from the side. We can see her profile, even hear her voice. Taking tips, KP?


Anna Freud Centre
The verdict is a win. This dress is so elegant, and as I mentioned when she wore it while pregnant with Charlotte, I love how it doesn't try to mask Kate's pregnancy. Instead, it celebrates and flatters her, which is the right strategy. This is not terribly important, but I haven't loved Kate's new cut, but  tonight her hair was the best it has looked since she trimmed it. I hope she grows it out more, but tonight was a win. 


P.S. A side note on the venue...sort of. Orangeries are basically greenhouses--or for BritLit fans, conservatories--and they are where various flora winter away from all the frostbite. KP's orangery is now used for other purposes, but the tall windows and stone floors make it a romantic venue. But...pop over the Channel to Paris and the Versailles L'Orangerie is still in business. I think a lot of guests miss it, even though they are standing directly above it, because it is tucked directly under the primary terrace. 

Versailles FB

It crossed my mind, because just yesterday Chateau de Versailles shared pictures of the first frost...



...and announced the trees were being moved inside to keep cozy until spring. Another year tucked away... 



Ok kids, that's the skinny on Kate, a little extra on Orangeries for free, and my best wishes for sweet dreams. See you tomorrow for Kate's Place2Be appearance! 

35 comments:

  1. I've had similar thoughts about the social media, and feel like it gets worse when she's pregnant. I always assumed it's that same old same old of wanting more privacy than the role of public face is inclined to give but either way it's frustrating.

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  2. I love tonight’s look and I love that she’s wearing what I consider to be the mega jewels: diamonds from the Queen. I think she carries them well.

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  3. Kate looked lovely tonight. I loved the Zarita the first time she wore it, and I think it was a perfect choice for tonight's gala. I hope that she repeats her pregnancy wardrobe. Given the negative climate, she would be wise not to spend on new outfits.I would love to see her with straightened hair, rather than the curls. That said, it was indeed, a win win tonight.

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  4. I hoped she’d wear this dress tonight! She looked beautiful. I love seeing her little bump.

    Sidenote, but I appreciate that you’ve gone back to your previous blogging style for now. I like having your thoughts buffered by relevant photos. Just my two cents. :)

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  5. Totally agree with you about her hair- it just looks better when it’s longer. But tonight she totally rocked it!

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  6. Gorgeous---love the dress and the jewellery magnificent. Clever Jane to identify the bracelet.
    I too regretted the haircut, but tonight it looked lovely.
    The venue seemed to have been lit by candles only--romantic, but not good for photos

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  7. I didn't pick up on the darker lipstick until I saw the close-up photo Jane included above. I like it! I think Kate looked fantastic, although I do believe that an updo works better with the neckline and cut in the back. And I'm very pleased to see Kate wearing another one of HM's bracelets. Enough said in my opinion LOL.

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  8. Jane, I'm curious about your response to the reporter on Kate's iconic looks. Perhaps a blog post on the topic? :)

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    1. Oh yes, I am curious as well!

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  9. I think Kate looked great. I like her hair this length myself and would like it even slightly shorter. Sometimes--certainly not always--when it was very long she looked like she was "all hair" and when she had to keep pushing it back off her face or trying to contain it in the wind those weren't great looks IMO. That said, I agree with royalfan the neckline and back of this dress benefit from an updo. I wish Kate would/could wear a more "messy" type of updo. I don't mean actually messy but I wish there was something done with her hair besides all down (too often for my taste styled with beauty-queen sausage curls instead of waves), pinbacks that sometimes can look juvenile, and solidly structured, not a hair out of place, hair-netted updos particularly for indoor events where wind isn't a concern. I know she can't wear styles that might come undone mid-event but most of her appearances are pretty brief. So I'd think there would be other fresher options.

    The pic of W&K attending a private wedding made me curious. Do women often wear all-black outfits to weddings in the UK? Or were they attending a reception not a ceremony?

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    1. Lizzie, I Googled "updo hairstyles" and OHHH the possibilities!!

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  10. Like everything about it, especially the darker lipstick. Even her hair looked good, which has been a bit of a challenge recently! Also, I enjoy seeing that she is recycling her previous pregnancy wardrobes, there were some outfits I really loved but thought we'd never see again.

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  11. Agree with all your points, Jane! This rewear has a softer, more modern and, certainly, more youthful look than the last time. I think the loose waves and bolder makeup made a huge difference. I understand people's points about an updo showing off the neckline but her hair is short enough right now for those visual details to be seen.

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  12. Kate looked fabulous last night! The gown, hair, make-up and jewelry are just stunning. She looks a million times better with shorter hair. The new cut makes her look much fresher and more updated. I really hope she doesn't grow it back out. Well done, Kate!

    On another note, your blog is terrific, Jane. I do like it when you insert headers and have specific content beneath them that relates to each header. It's very easy to read. That being said, any version of your blog is enjoyable! I look forward to reading it and do so regularly. Thank you.

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  13. In total agreement with your post, Kate looked great and her hair looked even better tonight. Interesting about the jewelry (bracelet) as well! I believe Nicky Hilton was married a few years back at the KP Orangeries. Love your blog!!!! Looking forward to your post about Kate's burgundy dress from this morning!

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  14. While I prefer the way she styled the dress in 2014 (hair up in a chognon just looks so much better with the neckline and lace), she looked lovely. I especially afore the bracelet on loan from the Queen. Also, her hair looked really pretty in these soft waves, though I miss her old long curls :)

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  15. Fantastic post, Jane! I appreciate your burning the midnight oil to produce it.
    I agree about inadequate Kate coverage on KP, especially compared to that of Harry's when tweets per event is considered. Although the photos were dark we could still clearly see the back detail of the gown. Unfortunately, as you pointed out, we saw little of her face. I am so glad you chose to lead with one of those showing her gorgeous glowing face. It seemed better-lit. Perhaps also the result of waiting for high-resolution photos. The Queen's jewelry really pops in that one, front and center. I noticed some flashes from cameras on one video. They seemed very distracting to me in the narrow candle-lit room. Perhaps those clearer photos using flash photography were limited because of its blinding effect. Or were taken in a better-lit area.
    I understand your point about KP choice of photos but I don't think it was a privacy issue to obscure her pregnancy. She has been out and about with her pregnancy apparent--the dancing bear ones with Kate in the figure-revealing pink dress?-- with William at her side enjoying the moment. If there are pregnancy privacy issues, they certainly aren't coming from William and Catherine.
    I agree with royalfan, regarding the bracelet. It is almost shouting the Queen's approval. I think a few forums initially credited it to a wedding gift from an oil-country, which seems almost an attempt to downplay the significance of HM's loan, considering the fact that she was also wearing the Queen's earrings. It has "Queen" written all over it and I thought that was obvious.

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    1. And speaking of this bracelet, borrowed from the Queen, it strikes me that, of the three Kate has borrowed, it's the prettiest. Love that it seems to be filigree--lacework in diamonds, so to speak. If it is indeed openwork, then it might also be flexible, unlike the other two weightier diamond bracelets both of which had fixed frames.

      JC

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    2. I think it is the prettiest, too The other two carry well-known royal history, but seemed almost gaudy to me. The design does seem Art Deco and I wonder if it is one of the QM's that HM inherited. One that George VI gave his wife as the Duchess of York? I assume at least a few of the QM's pieces went to HM's private collection. I know she does wear some brooches of her Mother's. I understand Charles was left many of the ones from her personal jewelry. I wonder if the QM knew where or with whom those baubles would end up?
      I guess the truth is out there, but it is fun to consider the possibilities for awhile. It is a gorgeous bracelet.

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  16. The social media comment - ha! 😂 They just don't have the right people doing it, probably a tad older than they should be for understanding social media.

    I loathe her new haircut, loathe. All the breathtaking gorgeousness, gone. People who like it, I just don't get.😒 Do you want her to look bad!!? I guess they want to suck all the attractiveness out of her. Sad.

    The orangery at KP can be rented for weddings. Diana used to pop down and peek into the weddings.

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    1. I guess I didn't think her hair was "all the attractiveness" she has or had, anon 11:51. How sad to be only hair! I think she looks great with a shorter do although obviously some do not.

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    2. I would like this length a lot better if she would add some layers instead of keeping it all one length. Layers would add some movement and interest.

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    3. I'd like layers too anon 3:03 but think the shorter length does add some movement on its own.

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    4. Please reread my comments, Lizzie. Kate's beautiful long hair is not all the attractiveness she has. BUT, it was stunning and a huge feature of her beauty. Why is it wrong to say that? It was a signature of hers.

      Honestly, I find that some women want to suck the beauty out of others, for whatever reason. I want everyone to look their best. Kate's hair was truly amazing. Now she looks like an ordinary soccer mom. 😔

      11:51

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    5. Anon 3:44., It's not wrong to state your opinion--I just don't happen to agree with it especially the part you wrote about sucking all the attractiveness out of Kate. I just disagree with you about what makes Kate look best. Yes, Kate’s hair WAS a signature of sorts, I suppose. But for every nice picture that could be said to show off her “signature hair” there were plenty of others where it was blowing around distracting from her looks, or she was repeatedly fiddling with it, or it was in her eyes when she was trying to read a speech, or it was set in Bo-Peep ringlet curls, or it was pinned back with chip-clips, or it covered up other pretty aspects of her appearance... So I like it much better now. It has bounce, it doesn’t seem to require as much fiddling with by Kate during events, and updos are still possible.

      I do think it is sad when a single feature a woman has (long hair, big breasts, whatever) becomes her signature, AKA her “essential beauty” as though she IS only that feature. Seems kind of superficial. (Wonder how Pippa liked being known for her “signature feature” after W&K’s wedding?) I also think it is a bit offensive to imply anyone who likes Kate's hair now wanted to "suck beauty" out of her rather than to simply realize people have different ideas about what is beautiful. And I seriously doubt opinions expressed on a blog had any effect on Kate's decision to cut her hair!

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    6. IMO, most of the comments/suggestions about Kate cutting her hair have to do with what some of us perceive to be more flattering at this point in her life. I am not a long hair person, but I will admit that her hair was gorgeous in her single days. But in her 30's, I don't think the length was the most flattering look. Shorter hair gives her face a lift and as unpopular as her bangs may have been with some folks, I do believe they made her look younger. And NO, this is not about what a woman must do at any given age, but as we age, different things become more flatter...or less so. My two cents...or three. :-)

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    7. I couldn’t disagree with you more, Lizzie. And you have proven my point. Most people, male and female, have a physical feature that’s their best. It’s not superficial, but true. To think it’s “superficial” explains why you see no need for Kate to keep her beautiful, long hair. You want to suck all the beauty out of her so she can look ordinary.

      And yes, Kate and her people read blogs. I was the one who wanted Kate to wear red toe polish and get a pedicure. A few days later, she rocked adorable black delicate shoes with bright red polish. A completely new look for her. Coincidence? We didn’t think so.


      11:51

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    8. Anon 1:23. This is rapidly becoming a silly conversation. You've never met me butyou are now stating outright (after several blatant hints) you KNOW I want to ruin Kate's appearance by "sucking all the beauty out of her" simply because I don't share your opinion about her hair! That seems pretty silly to me. You also say that if an anonymous poster says something here about toenail polish and then Kate wears toenail polish, it proves Kate reads the blog! Really? So the rooster crowing at dawn really does make the sun come up. Good to know cause & effect are always that obvious. Naturally that means Kate cut her hair because someone like me (or royalfan or several others) said it would look nice shorter--and unlike you, she did not realize we were plotting to ruin her or suck her beauty, of course. Wish she'd take some of the other "ruinous" suggestions various folks have made here like upping her shoe and jewelry game (enough Kikis!), foregoing nude stilettos more often, and occasionally wearing well-cut wool trousers! 

      Of course many people have features they wish to play up. But I do think it is pretty superficial to say Kate's hair can't be beautiful as she approaches her 36th birthday as a soon-to-be mom of 3 unless she wears it the length and style she wore as a university student or shortly thereafter. As royalfan noted, it's not an age thing but Kate is in a different position now. While you disparage a large segment of the female population in western countries--the so-called "soccer moms"--in many ways Kate now has more in common with that group than she does with 20-somethings who spend hours  prepping their hair and makeup to go clubbing. Kate likely does not have the time to maintain super-long hair (or the inclination.) And very long hair takes much more time to dye and to style. It can look good but it doesn't always and Kate's often didn't recently. So my opinion is this shorter bouncy cut, especially as styled here with waves not curls is immensely more flattering. A few layers around her face would take it up a notch but I think it looks great.

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    9. Lizzie-

      Kate had long hair well into her thirties and it actually looked nothing like her long hair in her early 20s.

      Again, reread my comments. The toenail polish incident wasn’t an example, it actually happened on this blog and was widely discussed. As was the belief that Kate or her people were reading here because of the timing and the complete 180 in her adorable feet.

      You seem very caustic in your responses to other commenters and I don’t know why.

      RF-

      I haven’t seen comments saying the short hair makes Kate look younger. If anything, people say it ages her by highlighting her wrinkles. Yes, some cut their hair to look younger. But in Kate’s case many think it’s having the opposite effect. Thank you for saying that you aren’t a fan of long hair usually. Appreciate the honesty.

      11:51

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    10. No matter how many personal insults you continue to hurl my way anon 8:34, I'm not backing down from my belief Kate looks great with shorter hair. (It is hardly "short" hair.) I guess "Disney princesses" often  are portrayed with very long hair, but I think Kate's current length is very flattering on a real, modern princess who is also a mom of young children (meaning her haircare time is likely limited.) Like royalfan, I think she also looks younger with shorter hair. I don't know where you have read the comments you mentioned that have purportedly suggested this shorter hair style emphasizes Kate's "wrinkles." While some have said they don't like her hair shorter, I've never seen any comment except yours connecting the prominence of any wrinkles with Kate's hairstyle. 

      I did not need to reread your comment about nail polish. I understood from the start your toenail polish example was not hypothetical. Perhaps Kate and her team did get the idea Kate could get a pedicure and wear colored nail polish with sandals from your comment on this site but I sort of doubt it. (Posters not named "Anonymous" on the WKW site and the Duchess Kate site have also wondered if they should get credit BTW.) While many of us have bemoaned the fact that Kate doesn't have a person on staff to help her who is actually *trained* as a stylist, I'm pretty sure her personal assistant turned stylist--Natasha Archer--knows women often paint their toenails when planning to wear open-toed shoes. I'm pretty sure Kate already knew that too. And last, I think it's pretty safe to assume Kate got pedicures on a regular basis long before she wore colored toenail polish at a royal event! 

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  17. This is one of my all time favorite evening dresses on Kate and I loved seeing her "embrace the bump" so to speak. Her hair had a sort of "Garbo-esque" feeling to it. And that bracelet - yes please! A big win for me!

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  18. I missed the darker lipstick. I always think she needs more color on her lips and then i missed it. It looks great! I generally am totally bored with lace dresses, but of the many, many, many that she wears this is probably my favorite. The bracelet is to die for. I wonder how you go about borrowing jewels from the Queen? Does the Queen send over a selection, is there a look-book and you make a request? Do you get to keep them for awhile and then send them back? -J

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  19. Great album Jane! Love your points of view! And thanks for sharing that little secret of Versailles (we are watching in Netflix Season 1 of Versailles, which is a series regarding French Royalty when the Palace was being built)
    As for KP's video, maybe they wanted to focus on the people's reaction and not on her? :? :?

    Thanks for all!

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  20. The short hair has grown on me. She's really eased into young married mother so well.

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